Southeast Asian Salad with Kohlrabi and Snow Peas

asian kohlrabi saladOne question that is often asked at our farmers’ market is how to prepare the lesser-known varieties of fruits and vegetables like kohlrabi which comes to market from our farmers throughout the growing season. Unfamiliar greens such as tatsoi, chards, and lacinato kale can stump many market shoppers, even a globe-shaped heirloom eggplant can raise queries toward which preparation method is best. So I decided to take this season’s most curious vegetable — the kohlrabi — and create a light, crunchy, and nutritious Southeast Asian-inspired slaw using other seasonal vegetables and herbs available at the East Nashville Farmers Market.

kohlrabiKohlrabi’s strange appearance may be intimidating at first, but its origins are far from exotic. A member of the plant family brassicaceae, kohlrabi was selectively bred from the same European wild mustard plant that gave rise to household broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Unlike the turnip, kohlrabi is not a root, but a stem. It possesses a mild flavor, and once it is efficiently peeled, the texture is crisp and crunchy, similar to that of an apple. It can be eaten raw and grated for salads or mixed with batter for vegetable fritters, puréed into a creamy soup, or roasted in the oven like a potato. Its versatility and high vitamin and anticancer fighting properties has made this unknown gem one of my new market favorites.

To begin, I veered away from the larger selections that tend to be woody and chose a nice medium to medium-small kohlrabi from Green Door Gourmet. While there, I grabbed a container of fresh snow peas to add spring sweetness to my salad. Next, I purchased a bundle of raspberry-colored radishes from Delvin Farms and two lovely bouquets of both fresh cilantro and sweet basil to give my salad a reminiscence of Southeast Asia. Next, I ventured over to Old School Farm to find some nice mint, and after grabbing some snow-white spring onions from Oak Grove Farms, I headed home and began my preparations.

east nashville marketAt home, I had 3 juicy limes, a bulb of garlic, some Serrano chilies, roasted peanuts, sugar, and fish sauce waiting. I began to peel my kohlrabi with a small paring knife until the outside was tender and edible. I sliced the vegetable into thin strips, then julienned each one to create a nice uniform slaw. I sorted and removed the stems and strings from my snow peas, cleaned and cut the stems off of my radishes and onions, and continued to julienne all of my market veggies. I even reserved a couple green onion stems and julienned them to add a dark green color to my slaw.

farm grown kohlrabiNext, I finely chopped my herbs and set them aside. I then minced 5 large cloves of garlic and fried them in 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil until the garlic began to turn a golden color. I removed the pan and drained the garlic onto a coffee filter (paper towel works fine) laid on top of a bowl or glass to reserve the oil.

For the dressing, I squeezed my fresh limes into a large mixing bowl and added 1 teaspoon of salty fish sauce and 2 teaspoons of sugar for sweetness. After whisking well and adding a julienned Serrano pepper, my salad was ready to be assembled.

fresh kohlrabi saladI tossed all of my crunchy veggies in my tasty and tart dressing, and stirred considerably to fully coat. After the flavors had distributed well, I mixed-in my chopped herbs herbs, fried garlic, and finished with 1/3 cup of roughly chopped roasted unsalted peanuts.

After tasting, I adjusted my flavors and added another teaspoon of fish sauce and a dash more sugar. If you do not have a taste for fish sauce, soy sauce or kosher salt would work just fine. After a day in my refrigerator, my salad was even better, possessing all the sour, sweet, salty, and spicy flavors that I love. I felt satisfied to create a healthy yet hyper-flavorful dish using all the local ingredients — familiar and unfamiliar — that I bring home every week from the East Nashville Farmers Market. I am excited for the interesting fruits and veggies to come this season… Who knows what will be created next?

Southeast Asian Salad with Local Kohlrabi and Snow Peas
1 medium kohlrabi, julienned (approx. 1 1/2 cup)
1 quart container snow peas, julienned (approx. 1 1/2 cup)
1 large radish, julienned (approx. 1/3 cup)
1 large spring onion bulb, julienned (approx. 1/4 cup)
2 spring onion tops, green parts only, julienned (approx. 1/4 cup)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (approx 1/2 cup)
1/4 bunch basil, chopped (approx 1/4 cup)
2 mint sprigs, leaves removed, minced (approx 1 tablespoon)
1/4-1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce (or salt or soy sauce)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 Serrano pepper, or any other spicy pepper

Tennessee Flaugnarde with Local Strawberries and Wildflower Honey

tennessee flaugnardeIf you’re like me, you enjoy the taste of seasonal local strawberries in their purest form—picked warm and fresh from the field and eaten straight out of the container purchased from a local farmer at the East Nashville Farmers Market. Their natural sweetness and supple texture set them worlds apart from the flavorless, bred-to-ship California varieties found in commercial grocery stores, making this ruby red fruit a regional delicacy. Yet, sometimes the qualities of our local strawberries can be degraded by the mounds of sugar and gelatin found in many Southern dessert recipes. Therefore, when I bring home a quart of these rare gems, I look for simple recipes with ingredients that compliment my berries, not degrade or overpower them, so their natural flavors shine through.

farm eggsOne fruit dessert that is light enough for my taste is a flaugnarde (FLOWN-niard), also referred to as a clafoutis (klah-foo-TEE). These berry-studded custards are local desserts from the rural Limousin region of France, the difference being which fruit is used in each: a clafoutis is traditionally baked with only black cherries, whereas a flaugnarde can be prepared with a variety of different fruits. How appropriate, I thought, to take such a classic French provincial dessert that showcases seasonal berries and make it sparkle with the flavors of Tennessee. With that in mind, I created a comforting yet light flaugnarde recipe containing 3 main ingredients produced by our local farmers and available at the East Nashville Farmers Market: strawberries, wildflower honey, and fresh farm eggs. I also opted to bake this dessert in my grandmother’s cast-iron skillet, but a buttered gratin or casserole dish, or even a cake or pie pan will work just as well.

strawberriesTo begin, I slathered my skillet with a small knob of butter and lightly dusted it with flour to prevent any sticking. I selected a quart of ripe strawberries from one of the local farmers at the East Nashville market, trimmed off the calyx and any soft spots, and rinsed them with a shower of cool water. Delvin Farms, Kelley’s Berry Farm, Green Door Gourmet, and Oak Grove Farm all have beautifully fragrant, plump, ripe berries for sale at the East Nashville market. Let your strawberries drain in a colander or on a dish towel while you mix the rest of your ingredients.

farmers marketNext, I poured 1 1/2 cup of whole milk (any type of milk will work fine, or try a milk/cream combo for a richer texture) into a mixing bowl and added 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 scraped vanilla bean would be lovely if you have it on hand).

To the milk, I added 3 heaping tablespoons of Delvin Farms wildflower honey to give my flaugnarde just a hint of regional sweetness and depth of flavor. This honey is made by bees that pollinate crops on the Delvins’ certified organic farm, and is harvested and extracted on the farm by the Delvins themselves. It has a bright taste with notes of floral and citrus that compliment the flavors of strawberry and vanilla nicely.

Next, I cracked 3 beautifully colored farm eggs raised on the Botanical Harmony farm into my bowl. These eggs are laid by different breeds of local, free-range chickens. They have beautiful deep orange yolks that, when whisked into the milk and honey, added a lovely apricot glow to my batter. After the eggs are fully incorporated, I whisked in half a cup of all-purpose flour to give my custard a little substance and lift.

strawberry creamOnce my batter was fully combined, I diced my strawberries and added them to the skillet. Then, I poured the mixture on top and put the cast-iron into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes. (Using my 12-inch cast-iron skillet created a thinner custard. For a thicker flaugnarde, bake in a 9-inch pan or pie plate.)

After 45 minutes, I removed a bubbling, fragrant, eggy fruit custard from my oven. The edges were perfectly golden brown and pulling away from the sides of my skillet, and the baked strawberry aroma filled the rooms of my home. This dessert can be served sliced after it cools down to room temperature, or scooped bubbling and hot fresh out of the oven. It also makes barely-sweet, delicious breakfast. In France, it is traditionally sprinkled with a dusting of powdered sugar. It can also be topped with a curl of vanilla ice cream. But since we’re in Tennessee, I drizzled my slice with an extra ribbon of Delvin Farms wildflower honey and enjoyed it on my back porch to the sounds of my favorite bluegrass band. Bon appétit, y’all.

Tennessee Flaugnarde

2 cups diced local Tennessee strawberries
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teasoons pure vanilla extract or seeds of 1 vanilla bean
3 tablespoons wildflower honey
3 farm eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
butter for coating skillet
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Beef Stew Recipe from Triple L Ranch

Beer and Beef Stew

1 lb stew meat
2 T olive oil
2 med sweet onions sliced
3 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 t dark brown sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 sprigs thyme tied together
1 bay leaf
1 cup beef broth
1 cup beer
1 T whole grain mustard

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
Pat dry the meat,season with salt and pepper
Coat large dutch oven with olive oil
Over high heat-brown beef in batches–set aside
Turn heat to medium
Add onions stirring for approximately 10 minutes stirring often.  Scrape browned bits.  Add garlic, brown sugar and saute 2 minutes till garlic is fragrant
Turn to high heat add beef  with juices to pot, add thyme and bay leaf.  Pour broth and beer over top and bring to simmer.  Stir in mustard.  
Cover and put in oven for 2-21/2 hours till tender.
Remove thyme and bay leaf.  Adjust seasonings
Serve over cooked noodles or mashed potatoes

See them on Wednesday at the East Nashville Farmers Market at pick up your stew meat.

Collard Greens with Poblano Chiles & Chorizo

From the Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern Cookbook Collard Greens with Poblano Chiles & Chorizo
Serves: 4
Time: 5 minutes prep, 15 minutes cooking

Ingredients
2 tsp peanut or canola oil
8 ounces fresh chorizo, casings removed, cut into roughly 1-inch pieces; or 4 ounces cured chorizo, kielbasa or other smoked sausage, finely diced
3 poblano chiles, seeded and sliced into thin 2-to-3 inch strips (about 3 cups)
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 pounds collard greens (about 1 bunch), ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced (1 packed quart)
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1. Pour the oil into a 12-inch skillet set over high heat, and when it shimmers, add the chorizo. Cook, chopping up the (fresh) sausage with the back of a spoon, until the sausage has rendered most of its fat, about 2 minutes. Add the poblanos, and continue to cook until they have softened slightly and the chorizo is cooked through, about 4 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, half the collards, the salt, and 2 Tbsp water to the skillet. Cook, turning the collards with tongs and adding more greens as those in the pan wilt, until all the collards are in the skillet. Continue to cook until the collards have softened and become dark green, about 6 minutes. Add the vinegar and continue to cook the collards, turning them occasionally, until the vinegar has completely evaporated and the pan is dry, about 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, if necessary, and divide the collards, poblanos and chorizo among 4 warm serving plates. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PIZZA RECIPE

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PIZZA RECIPE
(serves 2)
1 cup very thinly sliced peeled and seeded butternut squash
EVOO for drizzling
Coarse salt
1/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
Pizza dough
6-10 small fresh sage (or basil) leaves (torn if larger)
at least 1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 500 F. Drizzle squash with oil in a bowl and season with salt.
2. Spread cornmeal on baking sheet. Stretch dough into 9.5 inch round; transfer to baking sheet. Drizzle dough with oil, and arrange squash on top, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Bake 10 minutes. In the bowl you used for the squash, toss herbs with garlic, & drizzle with oil to coat. Sprinkle herb mixture over pizza & continue to bake until crust is golden brown, about 10 minutes.
*Cheese / Tomato Sauce : One can also add mozzarella cheese or another white cheese or your choice, like Romano or even tomato sauce, making this a bit more traditional. Top the crust with these additions, after baking the dough, but before adding the squash. Of course, you can always add more cheese on top too!
Submitted by Magda Underdown-Dubois

Slocal: Yes, It’s Local and So Much More

The Slow Food Movement might be new to you, but it has been around since the late eighties, first as a SLOCALgrassroots effort to move away from the increasing presence of fast food in the diets of working Italians and eventually in the US, where prominent localtarian proponents such as Michael Pollan and Alice Waters took up the cause of promoting a way of eating that was smarter and gentler on us and the planet.  

Slow Food promotes the idea that local, sustainably grown and homemade are always the best choices. If Nashville Master Gardeners Jami Anderson and Russell Kirchner have their way, it could be the approach we all take towards filling our plates and pantries.

Educating themselves about the true nature of mainstream corporate food production in this country inspired them to start producing their own food five years ago. As they learned how much of the value of real food is lost in the process, they began see the importance of local food production.

“Learning from many illuminating documentaries about the food industry (and reading enormous amounts about it as well) reinforced our desire to grow healthy fruits and vegetables that are pesticide-free, fresh, and have as much of their full complement of original nutrients as possible. Likewise, learning about the triggers of a fast-food diet to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease piqued our dedication to the slow-food movement. The continuing depletion of fossil fuels and air quality due to the transportation of food from far-off places to the table made us even more aware of the importance of growing food that is local.”

This was also the inspiration for the name and mission of their company. Slocal Foods is more than just a pretty herb stand situated among the vendors at the East Nashville Farmers Market. Of course you can get basil that will make your kitchen (not to mention your pesto,) smell like a little bit of culinary Nirvana and move on to the rest of your visit. Before you do, take a few minutes and look around. You’ll see herbs you might not recognize. You’ll see plants that, if you let them, will help turn your home into a greener and maybe tastier sanctuary. All that from a fresh sprig or a live plant?  Really?  

For you salt and pepper cooks, Anderson will attest that expanding your taste vocabulary can be daunting.  “…cooking with herbs can be intimidating to people who aren’t chefs and may not have even heard of some of them. That’s why we offer free recipes with the purchase of any herb that uses that herb as a main ingredient, fresh, dried, or live at our Farmers Market booth.” Still need some convincing? Take a look at one of the many recipes you’ll find this season at Slocal Foods. 

Aside from their interesting history and the sensory delight herbs offer, Anderson went on to explain why and Kirchner focused on herbs as part of their life work as teachers and activists for Slow Food: “Farmers markets are great resources for fruits and vegetables that are local but we noticed a gap in the supply of fresh herbs. You can buy some herbs at chain groceries but often they come in plastic (yuck) clamshells and sell for around $3 for just a few (often moldy) sprigs. Neither freshness nor quality is guaranteed in most instances. Selection is also limited to a few mainstream herbs as well. Our herbs are raised organically from seed in rich, composted soil right in our own backyard and we offer many herbs you won’t find for sale in a store.

See what they are offering each week at http://slocalfoods.com. Call Slocal at 615-480-5347 for restaurant herb supply accounts.

– Jas Faulkner

Rosemary Ginger Chicken

Rosemary Ginger Chicken
 
napkin2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
3 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 chicken breast halves
Combine all ingredients well. Rub over chicken pieces. Let marinate for at least 2 hours or more. 
Place chicken pieces on the rack of a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Add water to pan to a depth of ¼ inch. 
Bake at 425 degrees until done for 30 – 40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pieces and whether they are bone-in or boneless.
Recipe provided by SLOCAL

Homemade Seasoned French Fries

Homemade Seasoned French Fries
Serves: 2french fries

Ingredients

  • 1 large Potato
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425˚.
  2. Before cutting potato, rinse well under water. From there, cut the ends off the potato, stand up on end, and cut slices from the potato that are 1/4\” thick (depending on how thick you want your fries- cut accordingly) Take slices and cut fries out of the potato-using 1/4 ” as the measurement.
  3. Once all fries are cut, place in medium bowl and add the remaining ingredients, tossing until every piece is covered. Spread out onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes, flip the fries, and bake for a remaining 10-15 until fries are crispy (35-45 minutes total.) Make sure to not over crowed the pan- this may result in uneven baking.

CHILLED HEIRLOOM TOMATO & AVOCADO SOUP

Chilled tomato soup recipe(overnight recipe)
3 pounds Heirloom Tomato = about 4 Cups “juice”
4 teaspoons Sherry Vinegar
4 teaspoons Sugar
4 teaspoons Salt
1 or 2 Avocado
1 Lime, for juicing
Hepp’s Flavored Salt for garnish
Olea Extra Virgin Olive Oil for garnish

Core Tomatoes and chop into roughly ½ inch dice. Use a food mill to crush the flesh and separate skin and seeds. (If not using a food mill, skin and seed Tomato and then chop flesh finely saving any juices to incorporate together) For each Cup of “juice” add a teaspoon each of Vinegar, Sugar and Salt. Allow to chill overnight in a glass bowl to develop flavor. For each serving, slice Avocado in half and remove the pit and then use a large spoon to remove the flesh- place upside down in a shallow soup bowl. Pour Tomato soup around the Avocado without overfilling and then garnish with a squeeze of Lime Juice and Hepp’s flavored salt, such as 7-Fire Smoked, and pour EVO around. Serve with a fork & spoon.

-Chef Richard Jones, Green Door Gourmet

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